After winning his first state championship in Class 2A a year ago at 182 pounds, Coal City's Daniel Jezik, who is a three-time medal winner and two-time finalist, moved up to 195 and back down to Class 1A this season.
That's put the Coalers senior on a collision course with the two-time defending champion at that weight, Prairie Central junior Brandon Hoselton, for this year's title at 195 pounds.
Thanks to winning a 3-2 match in a tiebreaker, Hoselton is first and Jezik second in the IWCOA rankings and also is ninth compared to Jezik's 14th in InterMat's national rankings. The loss to Hoselton (53-0) is the only one this season for Jezik (46-1), who is on the top of the 195 bracket while Hoselton is positioned at the bottom, setting the stage for a rematch.
If Jezik claims a fourth medal as expected, he'll become the fourth Coaler to pull off the feat, joining Todd Combes (1994-97), Cody Minnick (2012-15) and Alex Friddle (2016-19).
Peotone senior Paul Keane looks to advance to his fourth-straight title match and win his second championship when he competes at 120 pounds. Ranked third at his weight, the 41-1 Blue Devil standout won a state title in 2018 and finished second last year and in 2017. He is ranked behind Illini Bluffs' Cameron Clark (38-0) and Heyworth's Levi Neuleib (27-2).
Keane, who competed at Bishop McNamara as a freshman, looks to become the first Peotone wrestler to win three state medals.
Wilmington junior Jack Narine (27-9) pursues his third state medal competing at 145, hoping to add to a sixth last year and a fifth in 2018.
Ten other Coalers join Jezik in the competition, five of whom are ranked and also five former qualifiers, including a former medal winner.
Junior Connor Huston (31-5) is ranked third at 138 and won a medal in 2018 in his other state visit. Senior Evan Rivera (36-6) is ranked fourth at 106 and is back at state for a second-straight year, as is senior David Papach (28-5), who's fifth at 160. And senior Lane Kutemeier (27-19) at 132, also qualified for state in 2017. Sophomore Ashton Harvey (27-6), who's ranked tenth at 170, advanced to state last year.
Coal City's first-time qualifiers are senior Gage Leake (34-2) at 220, junior Gabe Ludes (28-20) at 145, junior Logan Miller (30-13) at 285, sophomore Zach Finch (34-11) who is tenth-ranked at 126 and freshman Mataeo Blessing (34-17) at 113.
Reed-Custer senior Bobby Mann (41-11) at 120, is back at state for the second-straight year and for the third time in four years. Senior Noah Curl (37-12) at 182 also qualified last year. State newcomers for the Comets are senior Bobby Moorman (27-13) at 220, junior Adell Gamboa (39-4) at 138, sophomore Ryan Tribble (40-6) at 113 and freshman Kody Marschner (34-8), who's ranked ninth at 195.
Dwight has three returning state qualifiers and two of them are ranked fourth, senior Daniel Gutierrez (45-5) at 145 and sophomore Dillon Sarff (44-5) at 126. Senior Cade Enerson (42-9) at 160 is also back at state while sophomore Samuel Edwards (29-6) at 195 make his state debut.
Also back at state for the second year in a row is Peotone senior Logan Hartnett (35-13) at 195. He and Keane are joined by state newcomers sophomore Kevin Hogan (29-16) at 132 and freshman Marco Spinazzola (28-9) at 126. Others making first trips are Wilmington junior Nick Gornik (28-15) at 220 and Seneca freshman Gavin Mason (34-14) at 220.